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Testimony: A.Y.M.B.


Name: A.Y.M.B.
Age: 16
Date: 1 August 2020
Location: Ya'bad, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 1 August 2020, a 16-year-old minor from Ya’bad was arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes at 5:00 p.m. He reports consulting with a lawyer on the phone prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence. 

There were clashes between Israeli soldiers and villagers on the main road by my village. It was around 5:00 p.m. A military jeep drove by and stopped. Suddenly three soldiers stepped out and started to shoot in the air. I was terrified. One soldier grabbed me and struck me with the back of his gun in my back. He also swore at me. Then he tied my hands to the back with one plastic tie. He tightened it very hard and it caused me a lot of pain and left marks on my wrists for days. He also blindfolded me and made me sit on the ground for about 30 minutes. 
After about 30 minutes I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on the metal floor. Soldiers inside the jeep swore at me. Then I was taken to the nearby settlement of Dotan. I was taken to a room where I was left from the evening until 6:00 a.m. the following day. I was allowed to use the toilet and I was given some food. 
At around 6:00 a.m. I was taken to a police station. I was left in a room for about 15 minutes and then I was taken outside. At around 10:00 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold and the tie. He called my father and allowed me to speak to him. My father gave me a telephone number for a lawyer and I called the lawyer and spoke to him. The lawyer told me to remain silent and not to confess. The conversation lasted a couple of minutes.
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers in the village. He told me the soldiers testified against me and that my friends also confessed against me. I denied the accusation. The interrogator was calm and did not threaten me. He questioned me for about 30 minutes. At the end of the interrogation he showed me a document written in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I signed it after he verbally translated it for me.
Then I was taken to Huwwara military base where I was strip searched before being taken to a cell. I was left in the cell for 11 days. During this time I had three military court hearings on video link. My father attended the second and third hearings. Then, 11 days later, I was taken to Megiddo prison where I was strip searched before being taken to a special section where I was quarantined together with other detainees. I spent 13 days in the quarantine section and then I was transferred to the juvenile section.
I had four more military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to two  months in prison and fined NIS 1,000. I also received a suspended sentence of eight months valid for three years. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer told me that the prosecutor was asking for four months in prison.
I spent my prison sentence at Megiddo where I attended classes in Arabic, Hebrew and mathematics. I did not have any family visits because of the Corona Virus regulations but I was able to phone my parents twice. 
I was released on 23 September 2020 and I went home by myself because my parents were not informed. I was released at Al Jalama checkpoint and I walked a short distance and then I called my father and he met me on the way. I arrived home at around 7:30 p.m.